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Auto blogFri, 26 Apr 2013 17:43:00 EST
Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Some of the bigger news he discussed included a "high-performance" diesel engine that will produce 134 horsepower per liter and a 10-speed DSG automatic transmission. While no specific applications were mentioned, we can only hope this is for the Audi R4 we keep hearing about.
Another topic he touched on that caused us to perk up our ears was had to do with VW's plug-in hybrid technology. While we know the PHEV versions of the Audi A3 and Porsche Panamera are on the way, Winterkorn also said that these two models will be followed up by Golf, Passat, Audi A6 and Porsche Cayenne plug-in models. Scroll down for a press release highlighting the automaker's future fuel-saving initiatives.
"We thought we were going to build a super-911," said Peter Schutz, former CEO of Porsche AG of the development of the Porsche 959. That was before it started getting expensive. At that point, Helmuth Bott, Porsche R&D director got frightened. Costs ballooned because of the all-wheel drive, sequential turbocharging and other technology Porsche had never even thought about when it set out to build a 911 to compete in Group B. Schutz continued, "The amount of resources we were committing got totally out of hand." Instead of pulling the plug, Bott doubled down and drew on the strength of his brilliant team to build a car whose impact is still echoing aross the industry.
"It's probably one of our most prized possessions" says Don Leatherwood, Director of the Brumos collection where Dr. Bott's personal prototype resides, and where Frazer Spowart went to see the car and create a video for eGarage. Check out the sights and sounds of the 959 before it was the 959, and get personal takes on the car from Hurley Haywood, Peter Schutz and Don Leatherwood. Keep reading to see the video.
The misinformation first started back in May of 2007 - more than six years ago - when word came that Porsche was developing a compact utility vehicle to fill out its product line. Rumors swirled that the German automaker's future "Roxster" would be based on the then-upcoming Audi Q5. By September of 2010, the name had changed to "Cajun," but the vehicle was still expected to be "based heavily on the Audi Q5," said reports in the months that followed. One year later, the first test mules were spotted, the mechanics hidden beneath barely disguised Audi sheetmetal, which did nothing to give the upcoming model its own identity. And even after Porsche announced "Macan" as the vehicle's production name in early 2012, articles stated that it would "arrive on the same chassis as the Audi Q5, though with suspension, brake and engine tweaks suitable to the Porsche range."
It's no wonder that most still consider the all-new Porsche Macan nothing more than a heavily massaged Q5.
To help lift some of the mystery surrounding its latest release, Porsche hosted us in Germany for an in-depth look at its new crossover (while Europeans call it a "sport utility," its car platform allows us to call it a proper CUV). The technology workshop offered us insight to the design and mechanical execution, and it concluded with a short test ride. The trip was both enlightening and educational - and it left us with a whole new perspective on the Macan.